Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Today's Update - 7 Jul 2015

I feel like I've fallen down a well and I'm just now climbing close to the top ... or at least close enough that I realize I still have a bit to go yet but at least it is lighter than the inside of a black cat.

For those that don't know my father was hospitalized ... again, though I've lost count which one that was ... for severe chest pains while in the hyperbaric chamber.  Turns out that it was from two things ... dehydration and some type of blood pressure problem that I can't remember the name of where it fluctuates based on whether you are lying down, sitting down, or standing up.  The blood pressure issue will have to wait until he is healed enough to determine whether it is permanent or a temporary aberration due to his heart surgery/valve replacement.  The dehydration means changing his habits ... again.  He is so cranky about constantly being told what to do but he forgets whether he is drinking enough ... he'll say yes I just finished a glass of water only we know he finished the glass of water with his morning pills and it is getting close to lunch.  He feels like he is being treated like a child.  While I sympathize it doesn't change the fact that he still needs help remembering and monitoring so many basic things.  He tries to not be foul all the time but his patience for this whole situation is wearing thin.

But the good news is ... his open wound is now healed enough that he no longer requires the wound vac.  I would show you the before and after pictures but they are fairly disgusting and I'm not sure Dad would be comfortable with it.  Suffice it to say ... ewwwwww.  He still has what is considered an "open" wound but not the kind that goes down to muscle tissue.  Its depth is measured in millimeters now as opposed to inches.  He still goes to the wound center every day and on most of those days I drive though Mom has become much more independent about transporting him places.  Mostly it is just she wants me there for moral support and I suppose she just gets plain lonely.  At this point Dad is more ready to go home than Mom is.  Unless something comes up I figure they will return home no later than the end of July.  Dad keeps saying "one more week" but I'm not sure how realistic that is or whether his wound doctor will have released him in "one more week."  Mom doesn't want to leave until he is released because she worries what that will do to their insurance and their ability to get him additional treatment if/when it is needed.  On that at least I agree with her.

On other fronts I have stayed very busy as well.  My parents in the house has made keeping house a huge challenge.  Mom and Dad both are pack rats and tend to procrastinate about cleaning up their stuff.  I can't live like that; it is the wrong kind of chaos for me.  At the very least a dirty dish/glass needs to make its way to the sink or dishwasher rather than just lying lazily where ever it was last used.  My mother's sewing stuff and other half-finished projects keep migrating all over the house as well.  About the only thing that I now have better control over is my frig and freezer and the canning supplies.  My kitchen counters are still cluttered but at least the produce has been processed and is ready for canning this week.

I'm not going to show what a disgusting mess the rest of my storage area is ... shudder ... but at least I can show that I have been doing some canning.

This isn't even close to all of it.  There are quarts of soup on another shelf, pints of mushrooms, pints of apple bbq sauce, jelly jars of various jams and preserves, etc etc etc.  I was going to do some more canning today but got a call first thing this morning that they had to take my daughter who is away at summer camp to a walk in clinic.  Turns out to be not strep as suspected but a sinus infection that the doctor up there decided didn't warrant sending her home but did warrant a z-pak.  Her brother is flying her home on Friday so at this point all I can do is accept it and try not to be helicopter mom and worry it to death.  It isn't like this same brother - who is working the boys' side of the camp for the summer - wasn't quarantined last week because he caught pink eye from one of the campers in the preceding session.  Seems like it if isn't one thing it is another.  Every year I have to relearn just why I come out of the summer months traumatized ... between the business and the kids it is a wonder hubby and I aren't bald as a cue ball.

My normal stress relievers aren't as available as usual.  The kids have been gone a lot more so my helpers are otherwise occupied.  I haven't had as much time to write as I would like.  I've said it before but it bears repeating.  It isn't because I don't want to write but because when I have the time to my brain won't cooperate.  The stories are like trying to hold onto slippery electric eels.  The tighter you try and grab them and make them do what you want them to, the more they fight and bite to get away.  However, I think I do have enough to post an update so here it is:

Will post late, late tonight or sometime tomorrow.
A Bunch of Wild Thyme
Dark Days
Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack

Tonight's vids are examples of the soups that people can.  I am definitely going to give the recipe for French onion soup a try though I'll can it in pints instead of quarts.  I'm also going to can some garbanzo bean soup, my chili mix that had kidney beans and group beef in it, and my grandmother's recipe for vegetable soup that has beef in it.  Finding beef soup bones has been a project in and of itself.  I'm also going to can some chicken soup base and a few other odds and ends but that's for later.  For now, here are the vids.


Making and canning French Onion Soup

Split Pea Soup

Chicken a la King Soup


  1. Kathy, bless your heart, what a summer for sure! Great that your dad no longer needs the wound vac, that is a big move forward, though I'm sure with the rest of it that it might not feel that way. Thank you for the updates, I am halfway thru a reread of Over the Mountain to keep the shakes away, lol! And I cannot wait to try canning French Onion soup, that is our favorite! Take care, hope there is light at the end of the tunnel soon. Bless you ~

  2. Oh my goodness welcome back. I was worried for ya. Please don't stress yourself over us and the stories. Please take every moment for yourself that you need. You can't help others if your health fails from stress and work.

    I know all about elderly fathers complaining he's being treated like a child. Trouble is, my Dad tends to forget I'm not a child either. Good grief, I get directions on my driving, my cooking, walking the dog, going out after dark, etc. You'd think I was an incompetent 15 yr old.

    You relax and take your time. Enjoy your folks while you can. And thanks for the idea of canning french onion soup. Never even occurred to me (duh). I adore onion soup!

  3. Poor you! Try to rest when you can and I hope your Dad feels better soon. I thought I was busy today canning some mango jam. You put me to shame, Sister. :)

  4. Boy sure looks like you got a ton done on top of everything going on in your life.

  5. Glad you are back to us. Sorry to hear about your father's temporary set back. Dehydation can cause blood pressure flucuations. Specifically orthostatic changes; those changes from laying down, sitting, and standing. Take care of yorself while you care for them.


  6. Hi Kathy... praying for you. My father lives with us full-time (or we live with him, depends on who is talking) and I will agree that there are moments when I could cheerfully scream too. I am glad that the wound is healing but heart issues are never simple and one thing is resolved and another crops up. It does seem to be the way. Hope the rest of you are watching your own health - it is amazing how often things get overlooked in caregivers. I really appreciate your taking time to write in the midst of it all. I am really enjoying the stories.

  7. I get exhausted just reading all you do. It would be nice if you could bottle some of that energy and send it my way. LOL! I've found I can now post on SOME blogs but not all. I just reread Teagan and hope you finish it soon. :D Thanks! I know that you will get around to it and finish it, but you left a HUGE cliff there and rereading it just got me all riled up again! hahahaha!

  8. found it again! sorry, blogger doesn't like me

  9. Hope your parents are doing well. Since my mom's recent passing, I have been helping my dad out with his medical problems and I know how consuming it can be. It's almost like having a 73 year old child. I would love to read more of Up on Hartford Ridge when you get a chance. It is one of my favorites!

  10. Hi Kathy, we hope that your Dad's health is improving again, that the kids had a great time at camp, that your tenants are behaving, and that that the mayhem is quieting to a dull roar. Please know that we pray for you all. As much as we all look forward to more story, could you pop on and let us know that you are okay. We worry about you too...

  11. Oh dear Mother Hen, I am so missing your stories... I sure hope all is ok! I won't ask if it is a mad house full of chaos, cause I'm sure it is.

    Many good thoughts sent your way!